SUEZ partners with Fracta to provide technology to enhance pipe asset management programme

SUEZ North America has entered into a managed partnership agreement with Fracta, a market leader in applying Machine Learning to assess aging water infrastructure, which enables SUEZ to incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based condition and risk assessment technology into the delivery of its pipe asset management programmes in the United States.

SUEZ North America is the nation’s second largest environmental services firm, supplying water, wastewater and waste management solutions to 6.6 million people daily. Fracta uses Artificial Intelligence, specifically Machine Learning, to assess the condition and risk of drinking water distribution mains. Fracta received the Best Market Strategy Award at the 2019 BlueTech Forum, held last week in London.

“SUEZ is committed to delivering smart solutions based on the best available technologies and providing the highest quality service to its customers across North America. Fracta’s machine learning technology further enhances our range of digital solutions (AQUADVANCEDTM, OPTIMIZERTM) dedicated to water networks performance, providing valuable insight to the development of the most effective pipe asset management programmes for our customers. By focusing rehabilitation and maintenance efforts on the pipes that have the highest likelihood of failure, we help customers extend the life of their water distribution system while making the most of their budget,” explained Catherine Ricou, Chief Operating Officer for SUEZ North America. SUEZ’ pipe asset management programme, marketed by its Advanced Solutions division, provides turnkey solutions to help water utilities optimise the maintenance protocol for their distribution systems – and maximise the impact of their related budgets – according to the status of pipes and predicted performance in various locations within the network.

The programme leverages the power of best-of-breed technologies like Fracta’s sophisticated Likelihood of Failure product that enables utilities to make fast, accurate, and affordable risk-based asset management decisions about buried water main infrastructure. Fracta’s technology analyses the health of pipes throughout the distribution system and uses Artificial Intelligence to assess pipe failure in various locations. Its architectural framework can readily integrate with other important software applications used by water utilities for Enterprise Asset Management, Computerised Maintenance Management Systems, and Hydraulic Modelling.

Using extensive data gathering, analysis and validation, SUEZ then develops a remediation plan for these buried assets that may call for pipe replacement, pipe repair using technologies such as Spray-in-Place pipe rehabilitation, or Ice Pigging to clean and remove sediment and other materials from pipes. Focusing on those areas within the network at highest risk of failure helps prevent disruptions and even more costly repairs, and allocate expenditures in an ordered way that will yield the greatest return on investment.

“The SUEZ-Fracta partnership brings two innovative companies together to enhance service offerings to water utilities and industries, allowing them to be more proactive and cost effective with rehabilitation and replacement initiatives of their water distribution systems,” said Doug Hatler, Fracta Chief Revenue Officer, “Across the U.S., an estimated 240,000 water main breaks occur each year. It is important to get in front of breaks before they occur.”